Fifteen years ago, Dave Smith got together with some friends from across Manchester at a meeting to talk about the growing numbers of people who had claimed asylum but were facing destitution. In that group were activists, friends, volunteers and staff from local projects, including people who had direct experience of the asylum system. That gathering led to a follow up meeting of a small group of committed individuals in June 2004- the first ever meeting of the Boaz Trust Trustees. If you want to read more about the Boaz story, Dave wrote his own personal account of our first ten years which is available here. (And don't forget- by registering with Give as You Live, you can raise funds for Boaz whenever you shop online, at no extra cost to yourself!)
It took 12 months after those initial meetings for us to get fully established as a charity and that's why we're spending the year ahead reflecting on our journey as an organisation. We have so much to celebrate and give thanks for, but at the same time, the truth is that we wish we didn't still need to be here. While so many of our past and present clients experience the harsh reality of asylum destitution on a daily basis, we're aware that 'celebrating' our anniversary can feel wrong. But looking back, we have learned so much and we have so much to be thankful for so over the next year through all our communications we'll be focusing on different areas of our work and those who make our work possible.
We'd love you to be part of our special year. If you don't already follow us on social media, please do check out our Facebook and Twitter. We're planning our next Family Nights (likely to be in September and December) and we're filling up our calendar of speaking engagements nicely! Please do drop us a line at [email protected] if you'd like us to come and speak or have a stall at an event or organisation you're involved in.
Thank you once again for your ongoing support and continued interest in our work.